Popular walk as 'energetic' as a football match

The Bath Skyline walk rewards you with fabulous views of the city © 164074/NT/Andrew Butler

The Bath Skyline walk rewards you with fabulous views of the city

Latest update 16.08.2013 16:25

Completing our most popular walk burns as much energy as playing 90 minutes of football, according to new research by the University of Bath.

The six mile Bath Skyline walk loops around the World Heritage city and takes around two and a half hours to complete. It has been downloaded from our website more than any other of our 690 downloadable walks.

In a unique project to generate an ‘energy map’ of the Bath Skyline walk, a team from the University’s Department of Health carefully measured energy expenditure during Bath Skyline walk in 22 men and women volunteers aged between 24 and 69 years.

The researchers found that, on average, people burned 735 calories (kcal) during the Skyline walk.

They showed that the physical activity was classified as being of moderate intensity, meaning that simply walking the Skyline alone is almost sufficient to meet the minimum amount of physical activity that the government recommends that people perform each week.

Completing the Bath Skyline walk involves expending either more or similar amounts of energy as:

  • 90 minutes of football, badminton or tennis, or
  • one hour running or swimming, or
  • 40 minutes of squash, or
  • two hours of cycling or dancing.

Dr Thompson, who led the University of Bath team, said: 'These results are very interesting because they confirm that the Skyline is much more than just an enjoyable walk – it has the potential to provide enormous health benefits too.

'What we didn’t know before we started is how the Skyline would compare to other typical leisure activities. Our results demonstrate that completing the Skyline walk is just as good as many other activities that people might perform for health or to burn some energy.

'The next step is to find out whether people find this information useful and whether they would like the National Trust to do more of this kind of thing for other locations.”

Wendy Stott, General Manager for the National Trust Bath Skyline, said:

'We already know that people love the Bath Skyline walk for its beautiful views over the Georgian city and the chance to escape into nature.

'But this research will hopefully give people another reason to love the special places on their doorstep.'

The Bath Skyline walk burns over 700 calories (kcal) and is the equivalent to the energy contained in a typical Sunday roast dinner, one and a half cream teas or 10 digestive biscuits.

Together with the University of Bath we're surveying walkers to see whether the information is useful to them, and providing information to local GP surgeries who may be interested in the health benefits for their patients.

Next month the we'll celebrate walking with our annual Great British Walk campaign.